School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

27 October 2014


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News from Head of School

Annual Research Symposium

The Annual Research Symposium is this week, Tuesday 28th – Thursday 30th October. The Keynote talk will be by Stephen Brewster, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow, at 12:00 on Thursday with the prize giving and poster session to follow.  The full agenda can be found here:

All sessions are open to all staff and research students, please feel free to attend some and see the breadth of great research that our PhD students are doing.

Team goat success.

Four of our undergraduates took part in this year’s Team Goat: (L to R in the photo below) Jessie Abramson and Antonio Marino (both on industrial placement at CERN), Grzegorz Jacenkow (Y2, CSBMwIE), and Mark Larah (Y3, CS) -- who won two categories at this year’s Disrupt Europe hackathon in London. Their first win was for “a Siri for social network management” and their second was for a “virtual changing room”, where the system detects colours and suggests what users should wear.

Team Goat holding their winners' cerificates.

ACM team selected

Last Wednesday afternoon, 23 brave students tackled five challenging algorithmic problems to determine who would represent the School in the prestigious annual international ACM programming competition. The winners were (second pic, right to left) Karol Jurasinski (Y2, CMwIE), Ettore Torti (Y2, CSwIE) and Ion Diaconu (Y2, CS). The School is flying them to Sweden next month, accompanied by their mentor, Tudor Morar (PhD, Y2). See the problems and other info here.

The ACM contestants and the prizewinners.

Foundation Day Video

The University’s new Foundation Day video has a short section on early computing in Manchester. There is a shortened version on the University’s Facebook page.

PhD Open Day

The School was part of a new-look EPS Faculty PGR Open Day on Wednesday 22nd October, held in the foyer of the Alan Turing Building. Around 300 visitors came to look at PhD opportunities in schools and CDTs around the Faculty.

Thank you to the staff and students that helped with the stand, and to those students who contributed their posters to the EPS research gallery.

And finally…

It’s nearly MOVEMBER. Every year, staff and students in the School grow moustaches to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s health. The picture below shows last year’s fearless Mo Team. Please join in and help us look even sillier this year, and raise money for a good cause.

The 2013 School Movember team


News and announcements

Wear it Pink                                                                                    31 Oct 14

The official Wear it Pink day was held on Friday 24 October but Computer Science like to be different so we’ll be holding ours on Friday 31 October.  We’ll be having a coffee and cake morning in the common room beginning at 11am where you can donate to the Breast Cancer Campaign for some cake and bring your own drink.  Wear something pink to go with the theme – feel free to be as outrageous as possible!

The "Dawn of Cognition" by Steve Furber is part of the daily "Digital Minds for a New Europe" series

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, recently solicited articles on Digital Minds for a New Europe for her website, which publishes a series of articles by - in her words - "the world's best digital minds", as a daily digital coffee-break piece to promote digital Europe. The Dawn of Cognition article by Professor Steve Furber was published on 23rd October, looks at breakthroughs in science and technology, and at how digital advances are transforming our lives.


The Digital Minds for a New Europe series runs for 40 articles, up to 1st November.

Open Access: An Academic's Viewpoint with Professor Robert Stevens of the University of Manchester

For Open Access week the library has released a series of videos with academic staff talking about Open Access including our Director Research Robert Stevens:

Computer Science in the media

‘Today’ ran an article about the History of Communication and Technology exhibition at the Science Museum which mentions various Computer Science related topics and an article about ARM.


The full article is at 16 minutes and ARM starts at 22 minutes.

Children in Need in November

The time has come to start clearing out your cupboards and donating wonderful items for our annual Children in Need Online Auction (a bit like Ebay).  Please bring your donations to ACSO, Kilburn room 2.127 anytime from now on – and we will open the auction for a week on Monday 10th November.  It will close at 16:00 on Friday 14 November.  We will send the link round to the auction when it opens.



LMS Computer Science day on Wednesday 29th October

The annual LMS Computer Science day on Wednesday 29th October in De Morgan House, 57-58 Russell Square, London, WC1B 4HS.


The day is free for students and £5 for all others, which is payable on the day.

Limited funds are available to help with students’ travel costs. Further details are available from Duncan Turton at the Society (


The theme of this year's day is "Computational and Mathematical Modelling for Improved Understanding of Biological Systems" and we have some great speakers:

Luca Cardelli (Microsoft Research & University of Oxford), Netta Cohen (University of Leeds), Aldo Faisal (Imperial College London), and Jane Hillston (University of Edinburgh).


mHealth & eHealth Innovation Review                                             30 Oct 14

10-12:00, Joule Suite, Core Technology Facility, Grafton St.


UMIP undertook a review of the activity and related Intellectual Property in mobile and electronic health (mhealth and ehealth) across the University earlier this summer and Jane Garnett spoke to a sample of the academics active in that field.  Having interviewed 30+ academic and support staff across the University most expressed an interest in hearing about the results.  This event is an opportunity for Jane to present her findings to the University mHealth community giving an overview of the University’s activity and the grant opportunities, potential markets and potential sources of funding. The academic’s listed will also give a brief presentation on their current research as an example of the work being undertaken. Speakers include:


·        Jane Garnett (JG Technology Management Ltd) “UoM mHealth & eHealth Innovation Review - including grant opportunities, markets and sources of funding”

·        Prof. Tariq Aslam (Institute of Human Development )“It’s Child's Play”

·        Dr Sandra Bucci (School of Psychological Sciences) “Using mHealth to deliver a psychological intervention for serious mental health problems”

·        Dr Alex Casson (School of EEE) “Low power mHealth: neurotechnology and energy harvesting”

·        Prof. Sonja Kotz (School of Psychological Sciences) "Why using a mobile health device for day-to-day monitoring of Parkinson’s disease?"

Registration required.

Launch of ESRC Impact Acceleration Account 2014-18 Programme    30 Oct 14

10:12:00, Joule Suite, Core Technology Facility, Grafton St.


Following a successful pilot IAA programme, The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has awarded the University of Manchester over £860k to deliver the Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) until 2018. The first funding call will open at a launch event on Oct 9th 2014.

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

RCUK Digital Economy’s fifth annual Digital Economy, All Hands conference

3-5 December 2014, Imperial College London


DE2014 is a unique multidisciplinary environment, bringing together the UK’s most innovative thinkers and researchers to share ideas on how to impact society across a range of sectors; including transport, healthcare, financial services, and the creative industries.


Speakers include: Alice Gast, President, Imperial College London, Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, David Poskett, Vice President Enterprise UK&I, Huawei, Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, Nesta, JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist,, Ludwig Siegele, Technology Editor, The Economist, Steve Adler, Chief Information Strategist, IBM, Tomasz Smilowicz, Global Head of Mobile Solutions Citi plus many more…


The conference will explore the concepts at the heart of the global digital economy; from the cutting edge in digital economy research, technical challenges, and user engagement, through to latest thinking on privacy and data sharing to exploring how to create value from digital data. These issues will be explored through a mixture of curated activities, submitted papers, posters, videos and technical demonstrations.


Tickets can be booked online or by emailing


Funding Opportunities

Research Support Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing, submission and successful examples at and through EPS. The EPS blog The Word contains features News, Events and comment relevant to Postgraduate Researchers, Research Staff and Supervisors or PIs.


Important: Changes in EU Funding Opportunities

More detailed information is available now that for Horizon2020 has started (the successor of FP7 EU programme). EU research funding is important for the School and it’s important to understand what’s available


EU funding-related documents are placed by the University's EU team at:
The easiest way to find these documents is to search using the keyword: 'Horizon 2020'


A great resource recommended by the ICT National Contact Point is, which also provides handy overview documents.

Interested in FET-ICT? Here are some webstreams from a recent ICT Proposers' Day in Florence. Includes a webstream on Health and wellbeing

Cancer Research UK Multidisciplinary Project Award                     17 Nov 14

Closing date: 17 November 2014


Up to £500k is available from CRUK; including equipment, and salaries for PDRAs, PhDs, technical staff and associated running expenses, for projects up to 4 yrs

The Multidisciplinary Project Award supports collaborations between cancer researchers and scientists from engineering/physical science disciplines. These awards are awarded jointly between PIs from engineering/physical science disciplines (incl. CS and at any career stage), and PIs who are working in cancer research. With a primary focus on multidisciplinary research, the research themes within remit for this award include:

  • The direct application of physics, engineering, chemical or mathematical concepts to address the underlying physical processes of cancer, including tumour initiation, growth and metastasis.
  • The development and translation of technologies for direct applications in, or a clear path to, a direct application in the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer. Proposals for the first applications of technologies in cancer research and those which demonstrate potential clinical applicability are encouraged.


Multidisciplinary Project Awards are designed to fund individual project proposals. Alternatively, for research proposals of a similar nature that encompass a more detailed body of work, please refer to the Programme Awards.

More information

AHRC Digital Transformations Small Grants Call                            27 Nov 14

Closing date: 16:00, 27 November 2014.


The latest call under the Digital Transformations Theme is now live on the AHRC website.


Applicants may apply for projects up to the value of £50k FeC. The aim of the call is to explore the potential for digital environments to facilitate collaborative research and dialogue between practice-based research in the arts and other forms of research in the AHRC disciplinary domain. Projects will be expected to commence between 1 April and 30 October 2015. Any queries at all regarding this call, please contact Wendy Matcham.

Toshiba Fellowship Programme 2015                                               5 Dec 14

Closing date: 5 December 2014


The Fellowship is an excellent opportunity for PhD students to gain a rare experience of working in a leading technology company’s R&D labs in Japan for 2 years, allowing them to conduct new research within their field and learn about key R&D techniques as well as about different country and workplace cultures. Candidates must be of EU nationality and at PhD-level with no more than 10 year’s post-Doctoral experience.


Research Topics for 2015 include:

·       Next generation storage system architecture for cloud data centres

·       Data analysis technologies for healthcare applications

·       Machine learning for media data understanding

·       Deep learning approaches to knowledge and language processing

·       Quantum computing devices

·       Modelling and simulation challenges

·       and more…

More information

Fellowships for the future of manufacturing: challenges from the Manufacturing Foresight report

Closing date: 16:00 9 December 2014


The Manufacturing the Future Theme is looking to establish a number of established career Fellowships that will act as a response to the Manufacturing Foresight report. Areas could include:

  • Information and communications technology (ICT) - Modelling and simulation integrated into all design processes, together with virtual reality tools will allow complex products and processes to be assessed and optimised, with analysis of new data streams
  • Sensors - The integration of sensors into networks of technology, such as products connected to the internet, will revolutionise manufacturing. New data streams from products will become available to support new services, enable self-checking inventories and products which self-diagnose faults before failure, and reduced energy usage
  • Advanced & functional materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Sustainable/green technologies


Directors of Research (Robert Stevens) will have more information on this shortly.


Featured Research Outcomes


Did you know…papers featured in the newsletter also go on display in the Kilburn Building (outside finance: 2.03)? Send your new publications to Robert Stevens so that more people get to know about your research.


Janna Hastings, Andy Brass, Colin Caine, Caroline Jay, and Robert Stevens. Evaluating the emotion ontology through use in the self-reporting of emotional responses at an academic conference. Journal of Biomedical Semantics, 5(1):38, 2014.


Have we missed something? If you have some award news that you would like us to know about please contact Sarah Chatwin.